To grab drinks, eat delicious food, and spend quality time with friends in Austin, there’s no better spot than Eastside Tavern. Known for smoked meats and a fabulous rooftop, this tavern is a hit with locals.
On the corner of the popular Cesar Chavez Street, it is surrounded by breweries, restaurants, and eclectic art shops. Our trip to Eastside Tavern was not based on a friend’s recommendation or on a glowing review, but rather, simply following our own noses to the oddly-shaped and rather industrial-looking restaurant.
The interior is exploding with sunlight from the floor-to-ceiling windows and has wooden features and blackboards highlighting menu favorites and event upcomings. Art from local vendors adorns the walls, and the overall vibe is laid-back and cool. Venturing upstairs, we found a sunny roof deck with its own bar, colorful seating, and a great view of the east part of town.
I insisted on ordering the Corndog Bites for an appetizer. Savory housemade sausage is enveloped in a soft and sweet corn breading, giving you a mouthful of nostalgia from childhood. They’re served piping hot and with a generous helping of spicy mustard to dunk each dog into. Make sure you get an order (or two) of these.
We couldn’t help but follow what led us to Eastside Tavern in the first place (our noses) and order a few variations of the BBQ Meat Plate. Customers can pick one, two, three, or five different meat choices, along with a side dish. I opted for the Pork Spare Ribs with a side of Potato Salad and my counterpart went for Brisket with a side of Coleslaw.
Pork Spare Ribs are delectably juicy and sliding off the bone as I coat each helping with smoky barbecue sauce. Despite me kicking myself for not requesting a double order of ribs, the potato salad stuck out to me even more. Creamy, cold, and refreshing in flavor, this potato salad is the perfect partner to the zesty barbecue seasonings.
Brisket is tender and thick — good with or without sauce. You can taste the smoke and time that went into its cooking. The crunch of crisp coleslaw contrasts with its tenderness.
If you’re in the east part of Austin, Texas, pop into Eastside Tavern, grab a cold beer, and treat yourself to great barbecue (with a side of sunshine).